Definition of DE BENE ESSE in Black's Law Dictionary 4th Edition – Legal dictionary – Glossary of legal terms.

Definition of DE BENE ESSE

Conditionally; provisionally; in anticipation of future need. A phrase applied to proceedings which are taken ex parte or provisionally, and are allowed to stand as well done for the present, but which may be subject to future exception or challenge, and must then stand or fall according to their intrinsic merit and regularity.

Thus, "in certain cases, the courts will allow evidence to be taken out of the regular course, in order to prevent the evidence being lost by the death or the absence of the witness. This is called 'taking evidence de bene esse,' and is looked upon as a temporary and conditional examination, to be used only in case the witness cannot afterwards be examined in the suit in the regular way." Hunt, Eq. 75; Haynes, Eq. 183; Mitt. Eq. Pl. 52, 149; Willis v. Bank of Hardinsburg & Trust Co., 160 Ky. 808, 170 S.W. 188, 189.

Examination de bene esse

A provisional examination of a witness ; an examination of a witness whose testimony is important and might otherwise be lost, held out of court and before the trial, with the proviso that the deposition so taken may be used on the trial in case the witness is unable to attend in person at that time or cannot be produced.

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